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Belle Isle Aquarium and Conservancy

Belle Isle Aquarium and Conservancy

A few years ago, I had a membership to the Detroit Zoo and we always spent a lot of time in the aquarium house because it was easy for the kids to see the tanks and fish are pretty cool!  Plus, it was a warm shelter on those cold winter visits.   For whatever reason at the time, I never thought to visit the Belle Isle Aquarium.  Recently, we visited the Aquarium and it was the perfect dose of fun we were searching for!

Our Visit

We enjoyed looking at the different fish and learned a lot about the effects of plastic on our waterways. Did you know that gum is made of plastic?  We also learned about microplastics and how they have a big impact on our lakes and oceans. The aquarium had a lot of fish that you can find in the Great Lakes including sturgeons and bass.  They also had saltwater tanks with interesting marine life such as sea horses and an electric eel which was my son's favorite. 

The Belle Isle Aquarium is located on Belle Isle which is a Michigan State Park so it requires a state park pass to enter.  For those without the pass, you can purchase a day pass and enjoy a relaxing day at the parks and water’s edge.  The aquarium and conservancy are free to enter.  The aquarium is small and takes about 30 minutes to complete and once you are done we suggest walking over to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservancy and visit the different gardens.  Visiting the conservancy is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. 


The aquarium and conservancy have a unique story to tell.   The aquarium is the oldest in the United States and was designed by Albert Kahn who is known as the “architect of Detroit” because of the his many architectural designs such as the Fisher Building, Cadillac Place, and Ford Motor Company's Highland Park factory where the Model T was constructed. 

Both the aquarium and conservancy closed in 2005 due to the City of Detroit’s hardships.  It was then reopened in 2012 and was taken over by the state making Belle Isle a state park.  Now the buildings are slowly being restored as they conserve all its beauty. 

Have you been to the aquarium or conservancy?  If so, please comment and share about your experience.  Any tips on visiting?
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